After this, I continued on my path to grab a quick bite to eat. I didn’t know where I was headed. I settled on Taco Bueno, because I had only eaten there once before and couldn’t remember if I liked it.*
I ordered my food, sat down with the newspaper, and waited for my number to be called. The young couple sitting on the opposite side of the dining room got up and left, leaving me as the only person sitting in the restaurant. I got my food, sat back down, and started eating.
Then, a woman came in with 4 kids. My best guess on their ages is 8-year-old boy, two 10-year-old girls, and one 12-year-old girl. As the woman ordered the food, the boy ran to the table right in front of me. The girls followed. The boy talked really loud and kept stomping on the floor. I was just trying to read the paper.
The woman sat down with the kids to wait for the order, and she at least quieted the boy’s voice down, but his Adderall had worn off and he was still stomping and kicking everything.
Next, an elderly couple came in. They sat right behind me, and the guy promptly started hacking up a lung.
Did I mention I was the ONLY PERSON in this place? There were 32 other tables/booths (yep, I counted) and they chose to sit directly in front of and behind me?
As I heard esophageal fragments gargled behind me, the family in front of me held hands and prayed over their beef muchacas and tostadas. In the only moment of levity I would enjoy here, the boy asked his mom, “Did you pray for no tomatoes?” The innocence of that remark almost made me laugh out loud; it definitely made me smile.
I quickly forgot about that because the hacking and stomping in near-Dolby-quality surround sound continued. I would have moved, but I was almost done. I had already given up on reading the paper when the woman continued a conversation she must have been having earlier with the girls.
As in, virginity.
At Taco f$%&ing Bueno.
So in one ear I’m hearing, literally, “No guy is ever going to marry you if you haven’t stayed pure”, and in the other I’m hearing “BLEEECCCCCCHHHHHHarrrrKACKACKBlaarrrrrrrrAHEMAHEM”.
Now the fantasy in my head is to stand up and say, “You. Girls. May I offer a counterpoint? I would never marry a girl who WAS pure. I know; I know…I’m scum, but if you haven’t at least done some fooling around by the time you’re out of college a guy’s liable to think you also possess a very backward, sex-is-dirty mindset. I get the feeling it would take years to get you over the notion that your genitalia is filthy and cursed, and I just don’t have that kind of time. Frankly, sex is fun and natural. I like it. Have it every chance I get. But when it comes down to it, I guess what I’m saying doesn’t matter to you because I would also never marry a girl who believes she is weaker than me, inferior to me, and should submit to me just because some rich noblemen got a power boner centuries ago and decided to include some woman-control measures in their holy writs. Yeah, forget I said anything.”
“And you. Old man. Use the BLEEECCCCCCHHHHHHarrrrKACKACKBlaarrrrrrrrAHEMAHEM Drive-Thru next time.”
Instead, I just let my jaw drop, opened my eyes wide, and stared at the woman.
She made eye contact, averted her gaze, and started talking about soccer.